Improving Wi-fi reception on my mid-tower PC

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daveB
Posts: 1644
Joined: 07 Oct 2014 16:49

Improving Wi-fi reception on my mid-tower PC

Post by daveB »

A note to computer manufacturers:
How NOT to ensure good Wi-fi reception:
Mount the dual antennae halfway down the back of the metal case right alongside all the USB etc cables!

My previous PC (small desktop case) had the standard pair of short antennae mounted on the back right near the top so they nicely stuck up above the metal case. My wifi speed was around 36-37 Mbps download and 8-9 Mbps upload.

My new super-duper PC was having problems, because of the configuration above. Depending on time of day and position it could be anywhere from very good to abysmal. Even pulling the PC forward a couple of inches (5 cm) could result in a change from 15-20 Mbps download to just a couple of Mbps.

Obviously there was a combination of shielding, as the case is between the antennae and the router, and dead spots due to standing waves, plus (probably) interference affecting a weak signal at times.

I've just invested in an external wifi antenna, which now sits on top of the case and I'm back up to the max speed my ISP is capable of providing for Fast Fibre-to-Cabinet broadband.

A couple photos:
1) a screenshot of my broadband speed in the last few days - above the red line is the new antenna. You can see how variable the speed was.
2) the new antenna produced by Eightwood and purchased from Amazon. This has rp-sma male connectors.
wifi speed
wifi speed
external antenna
external antenna
The external antenna has 2m/6ft 6 inches of cable so allow plenty of room to move the antenna and magnetic mount has provision for wall mounting. It isn't obvious in the picture but the angle of the antennae is fully adjustable. I've set mine up as a pair of rabbit ears. The length of the antennae is about 50% more than the one supplied with the PC and probably 2dBi greater gain.
Location: Sittingbourne, Kent JO01ji
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, ST311, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele yagi 20ft agl - 70 deg. FM5 - 80 deg, 5.1 Yagi 16ft agl - 120 degFM5 -180 deg. Vert 3-ele Moxon - 80 deg. Shielded magnetic loop 0.1-200 MHz - 10 ft agl

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